By Kelly Hodges
Spring is in full swing, with flowers abloom, days filled with sunshine, and baby bunnies hopping on the lawn. Now is the perfect time to plant a vegetable garden, and here are the top 4 reasons to do so today!
1. It’s easy. You definitely do not need a green thumb or any prior gardening experience to plant a high yield vegetable garden this spring. If you have some dirt, some seeds, some water, and a sunny spot, you are pretty much good to go. Sure you need to know some basic things, like how deep to plant the seeds or how far apart to space them, but a simple Google search will get you those answers in seconds. Are you more of a visual learner? You’re in luck, there are YouTube videos that will actually show you how to plant those tomatoes as well.
If you want a more comprehensive reference, check out the book Vegetable Gardening for Dummies from your library, this has more than enough information for the novice to get the garden up and running. Also, don’t use lack of space as an excuse! You can grow almost anything you would in the ground in a container set on your balcony or window ledge. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!
2. It’s healthy. It’s pretty hard to grow something in your vegetable garden that is bad for you. Your very own garden is a great way to increase the number of vegetables in your diet. Even if you’re not normally a huge vegetable fan, it’s pretty hard to resist a salad made from lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes from your own back yard. Plus, you know exactly where your food came from (since you grew it), and it doesn’t get much fresher then picking something off the vine and eating it 5 minutes later!
3. It’s frugal. You’ll never find a better bargain in a grocery store or farmers market then you will in your own vegetable garden. Considering you can get a pack of seeds for about a buck, you may be able to grow 20 zucchini plants from one seed pack. If each plant yields even 3 zucchini, you’ve got 60 zucchini from your $1 investment. Have you ever seen zucchini priced at 2 cents before? Don’t think you can eat 60 zucchini? Fresh vegetables make great gifts to friends and neighbors. Plus they freeze really well. Enjoy green beans all year long by simply freezing them. In our family zucchini bread is a favorite, so by freezing our excess we can enjoy it all year, not just in the fall. Just make sure that you grow vegetables your family will actually eat, otherwise it’s not such a frugal investment. Last year we had a bumper crop of yellow squash, but my kids and husband wouldn’t touch it. We gave it all away, but needless to say didn’t grow it again this year. I suggest growing lots of what you love since then it will for sure get eaten.
4. It’s fun. There’s just something about getting down and digging in the dirt that is really fun to do! If you have kids then make it a family project. It’s great for the little ones to take in the whole process, from the planting to the watering and weeding to the harvesting and finally eating. Having a vegetable garden allows even the city folk to get a small fix of being a farmer (and instills an appreciation for the hard work our farmers actually do!)
Vegetable gardening is easy, healthy, frugal, and fun. Don’t over think it, remember that Mother Nature is much smarter then we are! Even if we plant a seed too deep, water it too much, or forget to pull all the weeds, chances are that plant is still going to grow despite of us. Experiment with foods you love, and then enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of your labor.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of her employer or any other person or entity.